Wyoming News Update

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Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment.

ELK HUNT-COURT RULING

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. (AP) — The U.S. Court of Appeals decided that the National Park Service does not need to substantively assess the elk hunt every year to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act.

The Jackson Hole News and Guide reports the court found last week that a decade-old plan, a 2007 environmental impact statement, was adequate.

Jackson Hole residents Tim Mayo, a realtor, and Kent Nelson, a wildlife advocate, sued the park service in 2014 for how Grand Teton National Park assesses its annual elk hunt. Mayo dropped out after a district court ruled in the agency's favor in 2016, but Nelson appealed.

The federal appeals court did not issue a ruling on another of Mayo and Nelson's arguments: That the National Elk Refuge's failure to reduce supplemental elk feeding was unlawful.

CASPER HOMELESS SHELTER

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Officials at Casper's only emergency homeless shelter say they are set to break ground on a new 22,000-square-foot (2,044-square-meter) facility that will double the shelter's capacity.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports Wyoming Rescue Mission will begin work on the new facility Tuesday.

Executive Director Brad Hopkins says the shelter has struggled with overcrowding for the past six years.

Currently, the shelter has space for 80 beds for both emergency and long-term residents in rehabilitation programs.

Along with more beds, the new facility will have a larger kitchen and dining room, a computer lab, classrooms and areas where clients can meet with case managers.

The current facility will be remodeled and continue housing the women's residential program.

The new facility will cost Wyoming Rescue Mission's about $8 million.

SAGE GROUSE-PUBLIC MEETINGS

VERNAL, Utah (AP) — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is hosting three public meetings in Utah this week to gather input on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's plans to reassess sage grouse management policies adopted under the Obama administration.

The evening scoping sessions are scheduled Tuesday in Vernal, Wednesday in Cedar City and Thursday in Snowville. They're the last of a series of meetings held across the West in recent weeks.

Zinke says he wants to make sure the land planning amendments don't harm local economies.

Conservationists say it's a thinly veiled attempt to allow more livestock grazing and drilling, similar to President Trump's efforts to roll back national monument designations. They warn it could land the hen-sized bird on the endangered species list in 2020 when the Fish and Wildlife Service is scheduled to review its 2015 decision not to list it.

MOUNTAIN WEST PLAYER-DALTON

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming forward Hayden Dalton has been named the Mountain West Conference player of the week.

Dalton scored 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Wyoming's season-opening win against Chattanooga last Friday.

It was his 13th career double-double.

Dalton played all 40 minutes of Friday's contest, the only Cowboy to do so, and also was the only Poke with double-figure scoring. Dalton hit 9-of-17 field goal attempts, including 5-of-9 from 3-point range, and converted on 7-of-8 free throws.

ICBM UPGRADES-WYOMING BASE

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The military is expected to spend between $4 billion and $5 billion over the next 10 to 20 years to modernize the intercontinental ballistic missile system at Wyoming's F.E. Warren Air Force Base.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that the spending could more than quadruple the typical amount of construction spending in Cheyenne.

The upgrades include concrete pours for new missile silos and buildings to house improved communications systems for the ICBM network. They're part of a $140 billion effort to replace the nation's aging Minuteman nuclear missiles.

Wyoming's congressional delegation and some policy makers view the project as needed to keep America safe. Others see it as a risky gambit that could push the world closer to nuclear war.

HIGH PLAINS AQUIFER

DENVER (AP) — The draining of a massive aquifer that underlies portions of eight states is drying up steams, causing fish to disappear and threatening the livelihood of farmers who rely on it for their crops.

The Denver Post reports that it analyzed federal data and found the Ogallala aquifer shrank twice as fast over the past six years compared with the previous 60.

Also known as the High Plains Aquifer, the Ogallala underlies 175,000 square miles including portions of Colorado, Wyoming Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas.

The U.S. Geological Survey said in a June report that the aquifer lost 10.7 million acre-feet of storage between 2013 and 2015.

Water levels in the Ogallala have been dropping for decades as irrigators pump water faster than rainfall can recharge it.

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